Home again: Brasov, Romania and Romanian wines

Four years passed without a trip to see my family in Romania, so I was especially pumped up to visit my hometown Brasov once again in the fall of 2022. The other exciting part of my visit this time was a special trip to one of the many wine regions in Romania and touring a few wineries.

I love my hometown for so many reasons! Brasov is a beautiful town, hugged by the Carpathian mountains all around, while at its core stands Tampa mountain—a short and mellow peak with a great panoramic view of the city; it has a nice walkway up the mountain or you can skip the walk and take the cable car.

David and I walked through the old town (downtown), our favorite part of the city. The pedestrian cobblestone road lined with shops and cafes leads to the main square, featuring the Town Hall, the Gothic style Black Church, and a fountain. On our way, we walked through an art display and had a chuckle at a sanitation worker’s shirt that clearly (if not intentionally) expressed her feelings; we also appreciated the irony of a store front display touting 50% off.

It was the first day of school and all around us there were gaggles of youths, styling up their mandatory uniforms and chattering excitedly. The line for ice cream was long, so we opted for pastries from Fornetti—fresh and hot out of the oven, filled with cheese or apples or sour cherries.

We continued our walk up the street, past the main square and around the corner toward Schei Gate, an 1800s portal to the old city. Not far, we took a right turn and walked along Strada Sforii (Rope Road), the narrowest street in town, built in the 17th century and believed to be one of the narrowest streets in Europe.

When you live abroad, you’re bound to miss the comforts of traditional food from your homeland. That is why David and I usually stop at La Ceaun, a restaurant in downtown Brasov offering delicious Romanian fare and a view of the main square.

There is no better food though than my mom’s cooking ;-). It was nice to sit around the table and savor home made rotisserie chicken, potatoes, fresh cucumber and tomato salad, and of course, wine. Oh, and REAL bread! The European plums were also delicious.

On a sunny day, we grilled the traditional “mici,” a mix of sheep/lamb and pork meat with traditional spices, served with mustard and a washed down with a cold Romanian beer, Ursus.

While living in the U.S., I developed a taste for wine. Unfortunately, the supply of Romanian wine there is almost non-existent, which is sad considering the amount and quality of wines my country produces. One of the grapes specific to Romania is Feteasca Neagra (Black Maiden), a dark skin lovely grape producing well-balanced wines.

We made time to drive toward Bucharest to Ceptura wine region just outside of Ploiesti, a town in Prahova county. We took a tour of Serve winery and had a nice tasting. The price of the tasting covered some of the wine, so we stocked up.

On our way back to Brasov, we stopped to visit Davino winery. A lovely lady, Irinel Macici, gave us the tour; the place was beautiful and she did a great job telling us the winery’s story. An area local and wine expert, Irinel has a degree in viniculture and a worldly wine experience, having spent ten years in South Africa. Her brother Razvan Macici is an award-winning wine maker.

The winery was in a idyllic setting and the tasting room beautifully set up. The Davino property was built with funds from the European Union which were established as an incentive for economic growth and entrepreneurship. While the buildings were new, they were built in to look like traditional rustic homes. The winery was poised to offer on-site lodging for future guests and wine aficionados.

Sorting grapes at SERVE winery, Ceptura, Romania


Award-winning journalist Charlie Ottley’s Wild Carpathia is a four-part travel and documentary series exploring Romania’s Carpathian mountains, the biodiversity within, and the rich cultural heritage of the region. The series showcased Romania’s natural beauty and attracted international investments to protect the country’s land.

Revino.ro—Romanian Wine Map

Traditional Grapes—Premium Grapes of Romania

Romanian Wine Regions—Premium Grapes of Romania

Brasov information and images on Facebook—Ghid Local Brasov

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